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Members of Lake-area ‘motorcycle gang’ accused of drug crimes, violence set for federal court


Six members of a group federal prosecutors say is a ruthless motorcycle gang whose members dealt violence and methamphetamine have court dates set for this week.

The members of the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club will face a judge on Tuesday for a detention hearing after being federally indicted by a grand jury last week.

The following people were charged in a 25-count indictment:

  • Tonka Way Con Ponder, 53, of Preston, Missouri;
  • Carolynn L. Ponder, 47, of Preston;
  • Tretch Lucius Lawrence, 48;
  • Keith Dewayne Nolen Jr. 34;
  • Paul Leon Gardner, 52;
  • Daniel Scot Kurtzenborn, 41;
  • Robert Russell Warren, 54.

Tonka Ponder, Lawrence, Nolen and Kurtzeborn are in federal custody. Gardner and Carolynn Ponder were released on bond. Warren has yet to be arrested, according to federal court records.

The indictment lists Tonka Ponder as the leader of the Galloping Goose, Lake of the Ozarks Chapter. It says Ponder directed other members and associates of the Galloping Goose club in carrying out unlawful acts of violence, drug trafficking and illegally possessing guns.

Tonka Ponder and Lawrence are accused of using extortion to try to obtain the property of a rival gang, the Iron Celtics Motorcycle Association, by use of force, violence and fear. This alleged extortion took place from July 1, 2020, to July 15, 2022.

Tonka Ponder, Lawrence, Nolen, Kurtzeborn and Gardner are also charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering after allegedly assaulting another person with a deadly weapon on Dec. 12, 2020.

Tensions between members of the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club and the Iron Celtics came to a head and broke out into gun fire at a the Lake of the Ozarks on July 15, 2021.

This led to further charges against Tonka Ponder, Lawrence, Nolen, and Kurtzeborn for allegedly committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering. They conspired to assault members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club and the Iron Celtics Motorcycle Association, resulting in serious physical injuries, the indictment says.

Tonka Ponder was charged with two additional counts of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering and two counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He allegedly shot two people, resulting in serious physical injury.

Along with the charges for racketeering, Kurtzeborn was also indicted on one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Kurtzeborn allegedly attempted to assault a victim by shooting at him.

Kurtzeborn was allegedly in possession of a Taurus .357-caliber revolver on July 15, 2021, which also landed him a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Nolen also received this charge after allegedly possessing a Taurus 9mm handgun on Aug. 24, 2023.

Six days after the 2021 dispute on the Bagnell Dam Strip, a fire broke out at the Midwest Drifters Motorcycle Club off Highway 42. The Midwest Drifters are direct supporters of the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club and were present at the shooting on July 15, according to the indictment. It's suspected the fire was connected to the shooting.

The indictment also notes that Tonka Ponder, Carolynn Ponder, and Warren are charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Camden and Miller counties.

Tonka Ponder is also charged with five counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, four counts of traveling across state lines to facilitate the illegal distribution of methamphetamine, and two counts of using his cell phone to facilitate a drug-trafficking conspiracy. 

Carolynn Ponder is charged with one count of using her cell phone to facilitate a drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Olivia Hayes

Olivia is a summer intern at ABC 17 News.


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